Snowstorms Are Fun!

A few days ago the Minneapolis Star Tribune dutifully hyped a story to the effect that Minnesota is the number one state in the country to retire to. The story was based on a study that assumed the biggest retirement factor is the number of government-sponsored nursing homes, or something like that. In reality, of course, when people retire they tend to move South. How many people do you know who sold their businesses in Arizona or Texas or Florida and moved to Minnesota to spend their retirement years? Probably none.

I love Minnesota, I really do, but there are days like today when I wonder. Weather forecasts were fine until a day or two, predicting a snow storm that would pass to the South of the Twin Cities metro area. Then the forecast was revised to suggest that the southern metro might see a little snow. That isn’t what happened:

Snow1

Much of the area got 6 to 8 inches of snow. I left work early and it still took me an hour and a half to get home. Tough commute. Is it like this in Naples?

Finally, I entered my own neighborhood. The forecast predicted nothing like this:

Snow2

We are talking a lot of snow here. Having been on the road for 90 minutes, I got to my house and then…because my house and garage are up a little hill, I was unable to get my car up the driveway. After multiple attempts, I over-corrected while backing up and got my car stuck in the snowbank on one side of the driveway. After fooling around for a few minutes, trying to rock the car with shoveling help from my wife and youngest daughter, all to no avail, my next door neighbor showed up with a shovel. Also with moral support from two of his impossibly cute kids.

That’s how it works in Minnesota: if you get your car stuck, through ineptitude or otherwise, you can expect a neighbor, or often a complete stranger, to appear with a shovel and an unflappable personality to help you diagnose the problem and, more important, help dig you out. Is there anything like that in Florida? I doubt it.

After another half hour or so we got my car into the garage. I took this photo immediately after. There are few things more beautiful than a snowfall, once you have gotten your car unstuck. This snowfall is now expected to continue for a couple more days:

Snow3

There is no particular moral to this story, apart from the fact that it has been a few years since I last got my car stuck in the snow pile adjacent to my own driveway. Then, too, one might wonder whether Minnesota is really the country’s #1 retirement destination, since most retired people would rather not shovel snow and head for points South instead. Happily, I haven’t gotten there yet.

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